How Many Times Can You Grill With One Propane Tank?

Grills, water heaters, and fireplaces all use small, portable propane tanks, often known as DOT tanks. They can weigh anywhere from 20 to 100 pounds. Its lifespan is determined by the size of your grill and how frequently you use your heater or fireplace.

A medium-sized grill on high heat will use about two pounds of fuel per meal as a rule of thumb. On a medium grill, a 20lb propane tank will give 18-20 hours of cooking time if you follow this rule. In as little as 10 hours, a larger barbecue can burn through 20 pounds of propane.

How many times can one propane tank be used to cook?

The way you utilize propane will have an impact on how long it lasts.

Consider the most popular propane applications:


As previously stated, 20-pound propane tanks are used for small chores such as cooking single meals. If you’re grilling on a medium-sized barbecue, one tank of propane will normally last between 18 and 20 hours. Larger barbecues, on the other hand, can consume 20 pounds of propane in as little as 10 hours.

If you use a medium-sized grill on high heat, you’ll need one or two pounds of fuel per meal on average. That works out to about 8 grilling sessions per tank.


The industry standard for measuring the heating efficiency of domestic equipment is the British Thermal Unit, or BTUs. One gallon of propane equals 92,000 BTUs, and the average house furnace uses 100,000 BTUs. The average house furnace consumes about one gallon of propane each hour.

Depending on how often you turn on your furnace, a house furnace might burn anywhere from 500 to 1,200 gallons of propane every year.

Hot Water Heaters

The amount of hot water you use depends on how many bathrooms you have and how many people are in and out of your home. The average residence uses approximately 1.5 gallons of propane per day for conventional hot water heating.

For hot water, the average homeowner will use between 200 and 300 gallons of propane each year.

The average homeowner will consume about 2.5, 500-gallon propane tanks for house heating and cooking each year.

How long can a propane tank power a grill?

On most grills, a regular 20-pound propane tank should last about 18-20 hours. You should always have an additional tank on available because you don’t want to run out in the middle of a barbecue!

How long does a 20-pound propane gas grill tank last on average?

In the Hudson Valley, we’re entering the peak of outdoor cooking season, so now is the time to make the most of your gas grill! Simply make sure you have enough propane for your next summer BBQ (not a problem if you have a built-in propane grill connected to your main tankjust schedule a delivery).

If you use a grill with a changeable propane cylinder, there is one little issue: most 20-pound propane cylinders lack a gauge, so you’ll need to figure out how much fuel is left in your tank.

Checking Your Grill Propane Level

Here are three easy ideas to get you started:

1. Make use of a scale. The most straightforward approach to determine how much propane is left in your tank is to weigh it. On the handle of most propane grill tanks are two numbers: the water capacity (“WC”) and the tare weight (TW), which is the weight of the tank when it is empty. When empty, most grilling tanks weigh around 17 pounds and store around 20 pounds of gas.

Simply weigh your tank on a scale and subtract the TW number to determine how much propane is remaining in it. If a 27-pound tank has a TW of 17 pounds, there’s about 10 pounds of gas left, or little more than half a tank.

2. Make use of warm water. The FIX IT Home Improvement Channel on YouTube has a simple and safe method for measuring the amount of propane in your cylinder:

  • Fill a small bucket halfway with warm to hot tap water and set aside.
  • Pour the water down the tank’s side.
  • Feel for a cool location around the tank’s side using your hand.

The fill level of the tank is at the top of the cold spot (it’s cool because liquid propane inside the tank absorbs heat from the water, making the tank’s metal wall cool to the touch).

3. Hook up a gauge. To go with your propane cylinder, there are a range of external propane tank gauges to choose from. Among the possibilities are:

  • Installed between the gas line from the grill and the tank’s cut-off valve, inline pressure gauges measure pressures to determine how full the tank is;
  • Analog propane scales that are pre-programmed to account for your tank’s TW; and
  • Tank scales that provide a computerized reading of the percentage of gas filled (some even come with smart phone apps).

Average Propane Cylinder Cook Times

So, now that you know how to estimate how much cook time you have left in your cylinder, how do you utilize that knowledge to determine how full your tank is?

A 20-pound propane cylinder used on a medium-sized grill on high heat will give 18 to 20 hours of cooking time as a rule of thumb. A larger grill may easily consume twice as much gasoline.

These are, of course, merely estimates: If you’re feeling ambitious, keep track of your grilling time this summer to get a better idea of when you’ll need to refill your propane cylinder. It’s all part of the fun of using your propane grill to prepare meals!

Don’t let your propane cylinder burn you.

Before your next summer picnic, use these ways to figure out how much petrol is left in your tank.

How long do you think you’ll be able to use the same propane tank?

How long do propane tanks last? A bottle is certified for 12 years in the United States and 10 years in Canada from the date of manufacture. Depending on the manner and kind of recertification, a recertified tank is good for 5, 7, or 12 years.

What should you do if your propane tank runs dry?

Allowing your propane tank to run out of gas is never a good idea, not just because it will disrupt your heating service (which will cost you money to restore), but also because it poses serious safety threats to your propane-powered home.

If you let your propane tank run empty, these are four things that could happen. It’s simply not worth the risk, as you’ll see:

  • If your propane tank runs out, your appliance pilot lights will go out, which can be deadly if not handled appropriately.
  • When air and moisture enter an empty tank, rust forms, masking the rotten-egg odor of propane and making it more difficult to identify a leak.
  • When you run out of propane and leave a valve or gas line exposed, you risk a leak when you recharge the system.
  • In order to meet federal code standards for propane use, you must engage a competent technician to perform a leak test (which you must pay for).

The good news is that you can prevent all of these issues with Carroll’s FREE Automatic Propane Delivery! Sign up today and you’ll never have to worry about refilling your propane tank again (it also benefits us by minimizing the amount of emergency fills we have to schedule…which is why we give it out for free!).

Improper Management

The most common cause of a propane tank running empty is poor management. Perhaps the unexpected cold weather caused an increase in your home heating, or your fuel provider is unable to deliver owing to poor road conditions or poor preparation. A propane tank runout, in any case, should not be treated lightly. When a propane tank is empty, there are numerous dangers to consider.

Tank Leak

A propane tank leak is a more dangerous cause of a propane tank run out. Propane is odorless by nature, but it has been infused with a rotten egg odor to alert consumers to leaks and prevent potentially disastrous consequences. If this is the case, evacuate the area where the spill occurred as soon as possible. Because volatile propane has been released into the air and may easily produce an explosion, avoid utilizing electricity or any form of spark.

When it comes to propane grills, how long should they last?

Every three years, the average American replaces their grill. Routine maintenance and prompt repairs, on the other hand, can significantly increase that lifespan. According to Business Insider, good cleaning and care can extend the life of a gas barbecue from 5 to 15 years.

Does propane have a shelf life?

Another reason to use Bottini Fuel for propane delivery is that propane does not have a shelf life or an expiration date. This is due to the fact that propane is non-perishable! Other fuels, such as kerosene, diesel, heating oil, and gasoline, can degrade with time.

Is it possible to utilize a 20-pound propane tank on its side?

For all of the reasons stated above, a normal 20 pound grill tank should never be used or transported on its side. They also have an OPD (overfill protection device) that stops the filling at the permitted 80 percent level. If the tank is on its side, this is essentially a float valve that might be broken or jammed.